Arkansas DE target Nicholas Fulwider opens season with impressive performance

Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss a defensive end target, coach Bret Bielema’s thoughts on location impacting recruiting rankings and more.

Arkansas DE target Nicholas Fulwider has sack, forced fumble in opener

Arkansas defensive end target Nicholas Fulwider started his senior season last Friday night with a bang.

Fulwider, who attends Sandy Creek High school in Tyrone, Ga., had a sack and 4 tackles for loss in a 38-0 victory against Creekside (Fairburn, Ga.). He also forced a fumble while making the sack.

A 3-star recruit according to the 247Sports composite, Fulwider (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) has Arkansas among his final choices. He plans to take an official visit to Fayetteville for a game in the fall. That would be his second trip to the Razorbacks’ campus after unofficially visiting in June. He also plans to visit Indiana, North Carolina, Rutgers and Virginia Tech before making a commitment decision.

Bret Bielema: Location matters in recruiting recognition

Last week, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema shared his thoughts on why some players get under-recruited. He discussed a lack of size and/or development as the primary reasons capable prospects become overlooked.

Then, he dove into what he called “the sexy factor” of where a recruit is located. He used Razorbacks freshman wide receiver Koilan Jackson as the prime example. Jackson was a 3-star recruit in the 2017 class from Joe T. Robinson in Little Rock, Ark.

“A guy like Koilan Jackson, in my opinion, was totally under-recruited,” Bielema said. “If Koilan Jackson lived in Dallas or a major metroplex area that had a lot of exposure, my guess is he would have been rated as high as any prospect in the country. That’s just off of what you saw on high school film and stuff.”

I’ll add some commentary here by saying I completely agree with Bielema about Jackson. I thought he was the best high school player Arkansas signed in the 2017 class and should’ve easily been a 4-star recruit.

However, I don’t agree with Bielema’s reasoning. Jackson is from Little Rock and his father, Keith, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Recruiters knew the name and knew plenty about him.

The issue was his position. He played quarterback at Parkview High School out of necessity for his team his first three seasons before transferring to Joe T. Robinson to play wide receiver. He made the move in an effort to showcase his ability at receiver, which was clearly going to be his best spot at the college level. I have little doubt he would have received far more recognition from recruiting services if he’d made the position switch sooner. It was the position, not the city.

To be fair to Bielema, he did also mention playing out of position as a reason some capable recruits receive fewer offers.

Hugh Freeze called massage company while on trip recruiting former Arkansas commit Ryder Anderson

It’s now been a month since Hugh Freeze resigned at Ole Miss amid some troubling allegations. But the saga continues to seemingly produce more layers with each passing week

Recently, Sports Illustrated reported Freeze used his work phone to call a massage company while on a recruiting trip in Houston last December. Who was he in Houston to see? A name those who follow Hogs recruiting will remember — defensive end Ryder Anderson.

The report from Sports Illustrated stated that the massage company promises “a high level of satisfactory services.” The company website features photos of women in lingerie and clients are able to schedule appointments for $180 an hour between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m.

Freeze called the company at 7:54 p.m. CT on Dec. 4. The next day Freeze and defensive line coach Chris Kiffin had lunch with Anderson and his family.

From Katy, Texas, a Houston suburb, Anderson was committed to Arkansas from July 2016 until November of that year. He de-committed and pledged to Ole Miss on Nov. 28. The breakup with the Razorbacks was mutual as the Hogs decided to switch to a 3-4 defense, which did not have a positional fit for Anderson. Arkansas was still planning on using a 4-3 when he committed.

Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook  right here.

The post Arkansas DE target Nicholas Fulwider opens season with impressive performance appeared first on SEC Country.

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